Creon as the Main Character of Antigone
Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three points can be used to make this argument: Creon suffers greatly, he learns a lesson, and is a tragic hero.
Creon, like all main characters in Greek drama, suffers many losses and undergoes emotional pain and anguish. A target of the curse on the House of Oedipus by relation, Creon was already a victim of fate. His destiny has already been predetermined by the curse on the house of Oedipus, so he must either undergo suffering, death, or even both. He loses his future daughter-in-law, Antigone, by initiating her death, his son through suicide, and his wife by suicide as well. Antigone broke a decree of Creon's: not to bury the traitor Polynices. The sister of Polynices, she breaks this new law because she knows that in order to please the gods she must so the right thing and bury Polynices. When she does Creon sentences her to death by sealing her in a cave. After realizing that he has made a critical error, he and his followers unseal the rocky tomb to find that Antigone has taken her own life. Creon's son, Haemon, the to-be husband of Antigone, rushes into the cave in mourning. He attempts an attack on Creon, but fails to connect with his sword thrust, and in anger and remorse kills himself with his weapon beside his dead love. Creon, overwhelmed with anguish, returns to the castle. But ...
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...Gods have attempted to evade their fate, but have never been able to do so. Creon is affected by fate through the curse of Oedipus. The Chorus recites:
The stress of a Fate is hard;
Nor wealth, nor warfare, nor ward,
Nor black ships cleaving the sea
Can resist her, or flee. (35).
Despite the fact that the play's name stands as Antigone, I believe that Creon should be recognized as the central character in this play. He lives longer, has more lines, stands in the middle of many moral arguments, and doesn't pull a disappearing act in the middle of the play. Provided with this knowledge, maybe a reader will read the play Antigone with a new prospective, and look at the story from both point-of-views. Not placing Antigone as the 'good-guy', and Creon as the 'bad-guy', but thinking of the pair as good people fighting for the right in conflicting situations.
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